Valley Farms and Land – Pastoral Beauty for Sale
Though this is predominantly a Richmond-based site, occasionally I will foray into the surrounding area – especially if the subject is one that I think would appeal to Richmonders and people who are planning to move into the area. Face it, not everyone likes city life (though many, many of us do), and not everyone likes having close-by neighbors. If you’re one of those people, do I have the solution for you!
I recently had the chance to communicate with Jeremy Litwiller, a REALTOR with Montague Miller & Co. out of Charlottesville. I know what you’re thinking – “Hey! C’vill has PLENTY of it’s own press!” and you’re right, but Jeremy’s focus is not, in fact, Charlottesville proper. It’s the lovely Shenandoah Valley, plus many other rural Virginia areas. Jeremy’s focus is the Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, and Augusta County. If you know your Virginia geography, you know that means just about every quaint and idyllic town in Virginia. Jeremy’s corner of the real estate universe is called Valley Farms and Land.
Jeremy was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. It’s so refreshing to get the perspective of someone who really believes in what they do. Jeremy loves the Shenandoah Valley, and thinks you will too.
1. How long have you been in the real estate business?
I have been a licensed real estate agent for just over 1 year. Prior to that, I spent the last 15 years in the construction and automotive industries. I worked in all aspects of both, from sales to management. Both provided me with great skills and experience that have made the transition to Real Estate smooth and seamless. My extensive construction experience allows me to see things in homes and structures that the average person might miss and also counsel my clients effectively when they have questions about building practices or systems. My auto industry experience was mostly on the purchasing side, which forced me to become an expert negotiator. In addition, I have been a partner in an internet truck sales business since 2002 and handle the technology and marketing side. The combination of the construction knowledge, negotiating prowess, and internet marketing history allows me to bring more to the table than the average agent who has never done anything else.
2. You specialize in real estate in the Shenandoah Valley. What first attracted you to that region?
I attended Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg after High School and absolutely fell in love with the Valley. I met my wife there and proposed to her on Skyline Drive. We moved away for several years and just recently came back in 2008. It was our dream back then to end up here one day and now it feels like this is home. The beauty of the Valley coupled with the wonderful people make this one of the best places I can think of to call home. The seasons are amazing, the opportunities to spend time outdoors are limitless and plentiful, and the pace of life is just perfect. I have lived in the upper Midwest, Northeast, and deep South, and none compare to the Shenandoah Valley.
3. Tell me about your current favorite two or three listings.
My favorite listing right now is a farm called Juniper Hill in Rockingham County. It is 160 acres of pasture and crop land owned by a wonderful family. They currently raise chickens and steer as the main product of the farm. The views are incredible, and the location is perfect. The current owner is nearing retirement age and the farm is their nest egg.
Another one is a property in Fort Valley, Shenandoah County. It is 48 acre parcel that is about ½ woods and ½ open hay field. Again, the views are spectacular with mountain views both east and west. It is very secluded, yet only about 1 ½ hours from DC. A gorgeous stream flows through the center of the wooded part which absolutely completes the package. Everyone who has seen it has immediately fallen in love with the beauty and peaceful feel.
4. What would attract a potential buyer to the Shenandoah Valley?
I think the main things that I hear when I talk to out of town buyers looking for land or homes in the Valley are same reasons I moved back. The Valley is truly one of the most beautiful places in the country. The pace of life is not as hectic as other areas in our region, and the people are incredibly friendly. However, with all this, we are still only a short distance from major metropolitan areas like Baltimore, DC, and Richmond. You can really get the best of both worlds here…..seclusion and minimal development without being too far away from larger cities.
5. Is now a good time to buy in the Shenandoah Valley? What is your forecast of real estate values in that area?
I think now is a great time to buy in the Valley. While we haven’t experienced the huge fallout in prices that many other areas like DC and Florida have, prices are now more affordable than they have been in some time. Many sellers are also more willing to negotiate as they are realizing that there is a lot of competition in the market.
It appears as though values have stabilized a bit as we look at Q4 as compared to 2008. There has been a slight uptick which may or may not continue. The market is still quite fragile, in my opinion, with a number of outside factors affecting which way it will go. Several government incentive programs are set to expire this spring that could have a significant impact. The homebuyer tax credit may go away and interest rates may start to rise, both of which could have serious implications. I still think, however, that the Valley is a great place to buy right now.
I’ll tell you what, and that is that if I had the dough I’d be thinking about getting myself a little piece of farmland somewhere. It would save me from my neighbor’s Tuesday Night Techno Party, and nobody would care at all that my dog barks at everything that moves. If you happen to have the dough, you can call Jeremy at 540-421-8293, or email him with questions.